TIFTON — More than 1,800 producers were able to fine-tune their farming operations with information gained at the 37th Annual Georgia Peanut Farm Show on Jan. 17, 2013, at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center in Tifton, Ga. The show is sponsored by the Georgia Peanut Commission in cooperation with the University of Georgia.
The one-day show offered farmers a full day to view the products and services of 97 exhibitors and a day of education. The University of Georgia Peanut Team presented educational peanut production seminars throughout the day focusing on disease and weed management, soil fertility, peanut maturity determination and marketing options for 2013. During the afternoon, an industry seed seminar was held which highlighted peanut varieties available for 2013 and calcium application for peanuts. Tours of the UGA Tifton Campus were also held showcasing the biotech lab, breeding program and the Future Farmstead at UGA's National Environmentally Sound Production Agriculture Laboratory.
During the awards ceremony the Georgia Peanut Commission and Bayer CropScience presented the Outstanding Georgia Young Peanut Farmer Award. The award is presented to one Georgia peanut farmer based upon the applicant's overall farm operation; environmental and stewardship practices; and leadership and community service activities. The 2013 winner is James Hitchcock Jr. of Tennille, Ga.
This year's winner demonstrates volunteerism and service to agriculture in his area. The winner developed his passion for farming while growing up on a diversified row crop operation. Today the farming operation consists of 1,365 acres of crops including peanuts, corn, soybeans and hay. Hitchcock also raises 125 head of cattle.
On the farm Hitchcock utilizes variable rate lime on all crops. All of the irrigation pivots use low pressure nozzles and most use electrical irrigation pumps. In 2012, Hitchcock purchased two new pivots with wireless technology to monitor from his smart phone. Hitchcock also uses GPS systems to plant, spray and harvest more efficiently.